Pound concerns surface

CONCERNS about the future of Singleton pound have surfaced on social media after council advertised for expressions of interest (EOI) from prospective providers.

Some local residents are worried profits will come before the welfare of impounded animals.

Singleton Council, in partnership with Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter Shire Council, is calling for EOIs from experienced and suitably qualified parties to provide companion animal impoundment facilities.

They are jointly exploring this option to deal with both the challenge of maintaining ageing infrastructure, and providing a more efficient service.

Council’s director of planning and sustainable environment Mark Ihlein says the EOI’S close on March, 9 at which time the councils will shortlist and proceed to tender. 

“The criterion for assessing the expressions of interest is publicly available,” he says.

 “The facilities may be located at one site or several and the successful party would be responsible for the care, release functions and all administrative requirements in accordance with relevant statutory requirements.”

Mr Ihlien says Singleton Council, like many councils, is dealing with the challenges of maintaining ageing infrastructure.

“As a consequence, we are exploring new opportunities to deliver services in collaboration with neighbouring councils.”

“Sometime in the future, we will need to review our impoundment facilities, and we are seeking expressions of interest to see if there is a more efficient way we can deliver our companion animal facilities.”

He says at present council works with rescue organisations to rehome suitable animals that are not claimed during the impounding period. 

“Animals not suitable for rehoming are humanely destroyed,” he explains.

“Each year council publishes its rehoming figures in its annual report.

“During 2014/15, we collected 236 roaming dogs of which 137 dogs were reclaimed, 8 were adopted directly from pound, 78 dogs were rehomed to rescue and 13 dogs were euthanased.”